SELLER: Harry Morton
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 3,040 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Virgin tipster Hal E. Wood and veteran real estate snitch Yolanda Yakketyyak have both fingered hospitality scion and restaurateur Harry Morton, the son of Hard Rock Café co-founder Peter Morton, as the seller of a contemporary residence in Bel Air that’s newly listed at $9.25 million. The 34-year old entrepreneur — he owns the illustrious Viper Room lounge in West Hollywood as well as the lewdly named Pick Taco Mexican eateries in Los Angeles — hopes to realize a quick and substantial profit on the sleek, city-view residence that was purchased via corporate entity only about seven months ago for $8.25 million. A deep dive into a variety of property record databases indicates the boxy, low-slung and glass-walled 1960s pavilion was long owned by Groucho Marx’s writer/producer son Arthur Marx who, among other professional accomplishments, penned several Bob Hope films as well as the late-‘70s sitcom “Alice.” Mister Marx, now deceased, sold the house in April 2010 for $1.685 million to a Beverly Hills real estate agent who completely overhauled and sexed-up the entire place, inside and out, and sold it off in January 2012 for $5.75 million to an investment banker and his former model wife who, in turn, sold it to Mister Morton.
Current listing details show the 3,040-square-foot single-story abode, set up a shared private drive behind a flashy, polished stainless steel gate on a desirably flat .39-acre lot with tree-framed city views, has three bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms that include a master suite with dual bathrooms and walk-in closets plus a slender library/office with floor-to-ceiling floating bookshelves. White or nearly white slab stone flooring of undetermined but unquestionably high-cost material flows throughout the interconnected living, dining and kitchen spaces that orbit around a central core that incorporates media equipment and two back-to-back fireplaces; One fireplace serves the living room while the other is in the lounge area in the kitchen and both are surmounted by a flat-screen television. The kitchen isn’t particularly big but is thoroughly and expensively equipped with a sizable central work island, custom walnut cabinetry, and top-grade appliances that include a full-height wine fridge. Wide banks of green-tinted, floor-to-ceiling glass sliders in the kitchen/lounge peel back to a hedge-backed dining terrace with built-in grilling station and an even wider bank of sliders in the living/dining room open to a slim colonnade and swimming pool surrounded by a broad terrace fashioned of the same white or nearly white slab stone material as was used throughout the house. The property is represented by “Million Dollar Listing” star Josh Flagg at Rodeo Realty.
Mister Morton, who once upon a time dated promising starlet turned tabloid train wreck Lindsay Lohan and who was widely reported to haven taken Britney Spears out for a sushi date a couple of months ago, may not be famous in the manner of a movie star or sitcom supernova but the L.A. native is certainly a card-carrying member of the Tinseltown glitterati and, hence, no stranger to the property gossip columns. Back in 2007 the scruffily handsome silver spooner coughed up $3.5 million for an 8th floor condo at the star-stacked Sierra Towers complex in West Hollywood that had previously been owned by oddball actor and filmmaker Vincent Gallo. The condo soon came up for sale, in July 2009, at $2.895 million but didn’t sell, according to property records, until January 2012 when it went for just $2.4 million, an amount that represents a punishing $1.1 million dollar loss not counting improvement expenses, carrying costs, and real estate fees. At just about the same time the Sierra Towers apartment was put up for sale, Mister Morton, than just in his mid-20s, paid $1.75 million for a down-on-her-low-slung-heels mid-century modern in the celebrated and expensively trendy Bird Streets neighborhood above the Sunset Strip. The property was extensively renovated and expanded under the direction of architect Jeff Allsbrook of Standard Architecture — the same fella who did up Balthazar Getty’s minimalist mini-compound in the Hollywood Hills that was recently leased to Joe Jonas — and put back up for sale in May 2012 at $4.995 million. Alas, the house went unsold and was taken off the open market in the spring of 2013.
Listing photos: Rodeo Realty